Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a pilot. The commercial pilot route would have never worked but general aviation has always appealed to me. I’ve done a few discovery flights in a C172 and a R22, and I’ve been up a few times with friends. In total, about 5 hours of flight time. I’m now in a place where can pursue a private pilot license, but there are a few things holding me back.
- While all I really want to do is fly low and slow, if I’m going to get a PPL, I’m also going to get an instrument rating. One of the leading causes of GA crashes are VFR only pilots flying into an IMC situations. IFR training basically doubles my flight training cost and time.
- Much more importantly, what am I going to use a pilot certificate for? Sure I can join a flying club and go get a $100 hamburger every month or so with friends. Maybe I can help out with the occasional jump day. But how am I going to stay current? How am I going to improve as a pilot?
To answer these questions, I’m going to reach out to pilots I know personally, as well as, YouTubers who promote the GA community.
I also posted on Reddit the question of how becoming not just a pilot, but a good pilot. The post quickly got attention and some great advice. None more central than stay humble, involved, and learning.
While I find answers to theses questions, I’m going to explore the world of X-Plane and Pilot Edge. I played X-Plane when I was a kid. I remember having trouble installing it on a computer I built, so I called the number on the box. Sure enough, the one and only, Austin Meyer answered the phone and helped me through the issue.
X-Plane has come a long way since then, especially with the addition of PilotEdge. A popular flight-sim twitch streaming, @catstrator, recently completed his PPL in 47 hours. The average time to complete the PPL is around 70. He has flown hundreds of hours on PilotEdge, and I have to imagine this allowed him to complete the PPL 30% faster than the average.
As a way to prepare for the PPL, I’m going to do some self study.